How governor thwarted my efforts to gain instant popularity

Monday, August 31st, 2020
Parliament. Photo/File
In summary

I smelt a huge rat when I received our MP’s invitation to a homecoming party.

This man has been working from home for most of this Covid–19 period, so what home was he coming to? 

The invitation indicated that the governor would grace the occasion, and this also raised my eyebrows.

On many occasions in the past, the county boss had failed to turn up for even more important functions organised by the parliamentarian.

I had a feeling the governor had little time for him. 

However, knowing the MP’s insatiable desire for publicity, I was sure he just wanted to show off how close he was to the governor.

Remember, like me, he too has his eyes set on the county’s top seat come 2022. Despite my misgivings, I decided to attend the event.

After all, which politician would hate to mingle with a crowd?

On the day of the function, I made a grand entry into the MP’s compound, flanked by four hefty bodyguards in dark glasses.

I waved at the sizeable crowd as I walked towards the main dais. The place looked more like a venue for a rally than a party. 

A group of dancers was doing their thing. I was led to a seat, not very far from the one reserved for the governor, who had not yet arrived. 

After the entertainment session, the host introduced his guests. We were only three MCAs present.

The MP said many MCAs had sent their apologies, but were with us in spirit. I did not take it kindly that I was asked to merely wave at the gathering. 

The parliamentarian went on to enumerate his ‘achievements’. A section of the crowd kept cheering and yelling whenever he paused.

“My constituency has the best managed CDF in the whole country,” he thundered.

Ukweli kabisa!” someone shouted.

“I have built more schools than any other MP since independence.”

“Tell them!” another screamed.

“If I can do that when I am a mere MP, how much more can I do if elected governor?”

Toboa!” came a squeal.

By now, I was regretting why I had attended the function in the first place.

The host yapped endlessly about the so-called achievements, declaring he was the best person to be governor in 2022.

“Anyway, I am not campaigning. I am just stating facts,” he said. Then, out of the blue, he suggested that we hold a fund raiser to help those affected by Covid-19.

“As your MP, I will not sit back and watch as my people suffer. I therefore start it off with my personal donation of 100 thousand shillings,” he said producing a wad of notes.

I sensed malice in this gesture. This man had not informed us in advance that there would be a fundraiser.

He definitely wanted to humiliate us, and particularly me. Luckily, I had some money on my phone – a substantial amount – which was meant for a different purpose. For the sake of my reputation, I would have to part with it. 

All this time, the governor had not arrived. Then it hit me – a bright idea! Now that it was obvious the governor had once more given the MP’s event a miss, why not gain some mileage by announcing that he had called me to say he wasn’t coming and sent me his donation? Yes, I would surely beat this conniving MP at his own game!

I requested for an opportunity to speak. “Bwana Governor is very sorry for not being able to make it here, but he has sent me his donation.” I then turned to the MP.

“Let me send it together with mine, to your phone. You know during these corona times, we don’t carry cash around.”

After performing the transaction, I requested the MP to read out the figure aloud. “Four hundred thousand,” he announced.

“Yes. Two from me and two from the governor,” I declared eliciting a round of applause.

I had resumed my seat and was still basking in the glory of my feat when, to my horror, I saw the governor’s entourage making its way into the compound.

The county boss alighted, strode to the dais and took his seat. After a tete-a-tete with the host, he stood, apologised for coming late and presented his donation, in cash. He then left saying he had another urgent function to attend.

It is now three days since the MP promised to give me back the money I gave on behalf of the governor. Will he really refund it? Ulisikia wapi? [email protected]